FORT SILL, Okla. (26 July 2012) -- The Fort Sill Sergeant Audie Murphy Club held a dedication ceremony to receive a donated statue of Murphy from Mark and Jenelle Byrd July 18 in Snow Hall.

"I want to give special thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Byrd who most graciously created and donated the statue of Sergeant Audie Leon Murphy to the Fires Center of Excellence," said Command Sgt. Maj. David Carr, 428th Field Artillery Brigade CSM and SAMC Chapter senior adviser. "I want to recognize and thank Mr. Don Moore ... [who] created the crest for the original Sergeant Audie Murphy Club back in 1986 at Fort Hood, Texas."

In addition to the sculpture, Staff Sgt. Kendrick Carrol, president of the Fort Sill Chapter of the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club, gave the Byrds a plaque as a sign of appreciation. Carrol also presented a plaque to Carr, in appreciation for speaking at the event.

The club was created to honor Murphy, who was the most decorated veteran of the World War II era. It serves as a prestigious fraternity of NCOs, who serve as leaders and role models for junior Soldiers, as well as to perform community service.

"Audie Murphy was awarded 33 U.S. decorations and medals, five medals from France, and one from Belgium. He received every U.S. decoration for valor available to Army ground personnel at the time. He earned the Silver Star twice in three days, two Bronze Star Medals, three Purple Hearts, the Distinguished Service Cross, and the Medal of Honor," said Carr. "I believe what made him so special was his tenacity and refusal to accept defeat, regardless of the enemy, obstacle, or challenge,"

Carr continued to describe Murphy's life and said there will never be another Soldier like him.

"This is not to diminish or disparage the brave men and women who have served our military since then or who are currently serving. The United States Army contains the greatest fighting men and women on Earth and given the opportunity, many of them could emulate the actions of Audie. However, the methods of combat have changed with more reliance on machines, technology, and advanced weapon systems and less on the feats of the men and women that fight in these battles," said Carr.

The club was created to honor Murphy and other non-commissioned officers whose leadership achievements and performance merit special recognition. Members must "exemplify leadership characterized by personal concern for the needs, training, development, and welfare of Soldiers and concern for families of Soldiers." If a noncommissioned officer meets these prerequisites, the Soldier may then be recommended by his NCO chain-of-command to participate in the rigorous SAMC board selection process.

The sculpture of Murphy will be displayed in the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club room in Snow Hall.